Japanese cinema has long been admired for its introspective narratives and profound thematic exploration. Here, we delve into three thought-provoking Japanese movies that offer unique perspectives on love, challenging conventional notions and inviting viewers to reconsider their understanding of affection and connection.
Ride or Die (2021)
Directed by Ryuichi Hiroki, “Ride or Die” is a compelling tale of love and liberation. The film follows Rei, a lesbian who helps her long-time crush Nanae escape from her abusive husband by committing an extreme act of violence. This intense act sets them on a tumultuous journey together, exploring the complexities of love, sacrifice, and what it truly means to be someone’s ‘ride or die’. The film’s raw portrayal of love and desperation challenges viewers to think about the lengths one would go to for love.
37 Seconds (2019)
This poignant film directed by Hikari presents the story of Yuma, a talented young comic artist with cerebral palsy. As she strives for independence and seeks her place in the world, Yuma encounters various forms of love – familial, romantic, and self-love. “37 Seconds” is a narrative of personal growth and empowerment, beautifully illustrating how love’s transformative power is not bound by physical limitations. The movie is a heartfelt exploration of the intersection between disability, societal expectations, and personal aspirations.
MOTHER マザー (2020)
Directed by Tatsushi Omori, “MOTHER” is a raw and intense portrayal of a toxic and codependent mother-son relationship. The narrative revolves around Shuhei, whose loyalty and love for his abusive and manipulative mother lead him down a dark path. As the boundaries of maternal love are tested, the film questions the often romanticized notion of unconditional love within the family structure. It is a stark reminder of the complex and sometimes destructive nature of love that exists in the shadows of familial bonds.
These films, with their unique storytelling and profound messages, offer a different lens through which to view love. They challenge audiences to question and perhaps redefine their understanding of what it means to love and be loved. Whether it’s through the lens of sexuality, disability, or family dynamics, each movie provides a distinct narrative that enriches the conversation about love’s multifaceted nature.